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My Tastings

Champagne Laherte Freres

Champagne Laherte Freres is run by the dynamic Aurélien Laherte, who has been at the helm of his family’s estate since 2005 in the Valle De La Marne. Laherte Freres was founded in 1889 in the village of Chavot in the Coteaux Sud D’Epernay, and over the generations the vineyard holdings have slowly grown to 10.5 hectares, but always there has been an emphasis on allowing full terroir expression in the wines through careful farming. To that end, Aurélien farms 7 hectares biodynamically and certified organic, with the other vineyards farmed uncertified organic or, at minimum, sustainably. Laherte Freres under Aurélien’s leadership has started to produce a series of single vineyard and single vintage cuvées vinified in Burgundy barrels without malolactic fermentation and bottled without fining or filtration. 

The Ultradition Extra Brut is a blend of 60% Meunier, 30% Chardonnay and 10% Pinot Noir from selected parcels of vines in seven villages in Côteaux sud d’Epernay, Côte des Blancs and Vallée de la Marne. The primary fermentation takes place in a combination of foudres (20%), tank (20%) and barrel (60%) and bottled after secondary fermentation with 4.5 g/l dosage. The Ultradition is gold with a hint blush. The nose is intense racy and taught with loads of crunchy red delicious apple and ripe pear along with fresh rhubarb, slight vanilla with prominent lees. Bone dry on the palate high acidity and core minerality medium alcohol and medium plus body agressive mousse and a long finish which pairs well as an aperitif or with Chicken liver mousse or baked milkfish
RETAIL $49
VALUE $49

BROWN BUTTER GARLIC CHAMPAGNE MILKFISH SEASONED WITH LEMON AND VOLCANIC SALT.
Preheat oven 350 and set rack low. Prepare an oiled foil lined baking sheet. In a nonstick pan melt a stick of butter with 1 garlic clove over medium heat. Swirl the butter around the pan until it begins to foam and turn tan. Immediately take it off the heat and discard clove. Rub the fish generously with the butter and black salt to taste. Slice half a lemon into thin slices and stuff the cavity and pour ½ cup of the champagne onto the fish. Bake fish for 45 min-1 hr.

CHICKEN LIVER MOUSSE WITH HERB PESTO, GREEN OLIVE, BALSAMIC ROASTED NUTS AND FIGS

1LB Jidori chicken livers
3 eggs
¼ cup grated maui onion
2 grated garlic cloves
¼ cup heavy whipping cream
½ cup Madeira
½ cup flaked white fish
¼ cup fish oil
2 tsp minced thyme
2 tsp chopped parsley
1 tsp cayenne
salt / pepper to taste

In a blender puree all ingredients together until smooth
Pour in a buttered loaf pan
Place pan on a water bath
Bake for 1 hr or until the mousse comes away from sides of the pan
Let cool 10 minutes
Run a knife along the sides and invert onto serving plate

Herb pesto
1 cup basil leaves
1 cup italian parsley
1 tbsp fresh tarragon
2 cloves of garlic
1 tsp shallot
3 oz pine nuts
2 tbsp lemon juice
salt/pepper taste

Place all ingredients in blender puree till smooth

Preheat oven at 400
Place 2 chopped figs and dates and ¼ cup mixed chopped nuts on an oiled foil lined baking sheet
Drizzle with balsamic vinegar
Bake 7-10 min

Top mousse with herb pesto, fruit and nuts
Drizzle with a little aged balsamic or wild honey if desired

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